Losing someone close is never easy. Being named an estate administrator or executor can complicate matters during a somber time.
A probate lawyer can ease the burden of this process so you can focus on what is really important: grieving the loss of a loved one.
The law firm of Froerer & Miles assists clients in Ogden, UT, and beyond through the probate process...
Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?
Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating a last will and testament. Even if someone passes without a will, probate is still required to pay final bills and distribute the deceased person's estate. The size and complexity of the estate left by the decedent will dictate the amount of legal assistance you may need.
At Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, our probate attorneys can help executors (if there is a will) or administrators (if there is no will) locate and determine the value of a decedent's assets including investments and real estate, pay final bills and taxes, and distribute the remaining estate to the rightful beneficiaries.
An estate with complicated issues such as numerous debts and assets will likely require the assistance of a probate attorney. Estate planning on behalf of the decedent prior to passing can allow the process to go much more smoothly. In such cases, the executor is named in the will and is responsible for handling probate. If a will is not left, an Utah judge will appoint an administrator to oversee the probate proceedings.
Consult a Knowledgeable Probate Lawyer Contact the Attorneys at Froerer & Miles in Ogden
Each of our probate attorneys has more than a decade of legal experience and a thorough understanding of both the informal and formal probate proceedings . We offer legal advice to estate administrators and executors and can answer any questions you may have regarding probate, including:
- Small estate affidavits
- Probate applications and petitions
- Waivers of Notice
- Renunciation statements
- Untitled property
- Letters Testamentary
- Creditors’ notices
- Court orders and statements
- Estate administration
- Heirship determination
- Contested will litigation
- Trust litigation
Our lawyers will protect your interests and keep the probate process moving forward. Our firm has provided the greater Ogden and Layton areas with probate, estate planning, personal injury, and family law services for over six decades.
To schedule a consultation, contact us online, or call our office:
"They made the process so easy."
We worked with Froerer & Miles to get a trust created. They made the process so easy and gave helpful suggestions on how to structure everything. We now have an organized binder with all the relevant information and feel our assets will be easily and properly distributed at our passing. I would highly recommend them for end of life planning!Read More Google Reviews
We enlisted the services of Froerer & Miles to review and update a badly out of date revocable family trust. Matt Miles was a clear and concise advisor who answered all of our complex questions and guided us through some difficult discussions and decisions. He reduced a cumbersome and confusing fifty page document to a clearly written and understandable fifteen pages. We are very impressed with this organization.Read More Google Reviews
How Much Does Probate Cost?
Reasonable Fees and Probate Costs
Many fear the cost of probate proceedings. In the past, probate lawyers used to charge a percentage of the estate, but that is not the case today. Most contemporary probate attorneys now bill clients at an hourly rate or charge a flat fee.
At Froerer & Miles, we try to stick to a flat fee so you don't feel intimidated about escalating legal fees in a complicated probate case that takes time to resolve.
Free Initial Consultations for Probate Issues
By offering free consultations for probate issues, Froerer & Miles in Ogden can help you make sure you choose the right team to meet your needs. We can answer your questions and offer our honest insight into your case.
Even if you do not hire our law firm, we'll be more than happy to help you understand some potential probate issues and point you in the right direction. Just meeting with us can save you time, money, and frustration.
A majority of Americans lack a will...
An intestate estate occurs when a decedent does not leave a valid will. This may happen if they do not have a will written or if the will is not accepted by the probate court. The court can reject a will due to an heir successfully contesting the will or because of an error in the document. When families are left leaving the distribution of assets to the Utah courts, the importance of proper estate planning becomes clear. In such cases, the property of the decedent passes to the closest relative in an order determined by Utah law regardless of the final wishes of the decedent.
Avoid an Intestate Estate with Estate Planning
Proper estate planning does not have to be complicated. The lawyers at Froerer & Miles in Ogden, Utah, can help walk you through the estate planning process so that you can protect the future of your assets. Identifying your estate planning goals allows us to provide you with legal services tailored to suit your needs.
"The cost was well worth the service."
My parents were so happy with the help they received from Matt Miles that they wanted me to post this review for them. Matt was great at explaining what they needed for their trust. He took the time to clarify the terms and procedures. He was so kind and the cost was well worth the service.Read More Google Reviews
Froerer & Miles is an experienced legal office that cares. I'm so impressed with everyone there, from their kind and efficient reception staff all the way to the top. If you need help with estate planning, or just want a review of your current plans, consider Froerer & Miles. They're awesome and less expensive than other planners I've talked to.Read More Google Reviews
Do You Need to Speak with a Probate Lawyer? Schedule a Free Consultation
Probate proceedings can be complicated, which is why it's so important to work with a probate attorney you can trust. The lawyers at Froerer & Miles have helped numerous clients in the Ogden and Layton areas and beyond with their probate issues. From the distribution of real estate and other assets to resolving disputes, our decades handling probate cases could be invaluable to you. If would like to book a free initial case review with our lawyers, contact Froerer & Miles online or call our Ogden law firm at:
Probate Step by Step
During probate in Utah, your attorney can begin the process of authenticating a last will and testament, if one is present. During this process, a judge will confirm that the will is valid during a court hearing. All beneficiaries will receive notice of this hearing. It allows all parties concerned the opportunity to object to the will, which is especially important if someone is in possession of a more recent will.
During this time, an heir may object to the executor appointed in the will, which is why hiring a lawyer can be beneficial. An attorney acts outside of the family and can objectively move the process forward with the best interests of the estate in mind.
The attorneys at Froerer & Miles understand all aspects of Utah law, including family law. We know that things can get complicated when a family is in mourning. By trusting a probate attorney from our law firm, you have the benefit of legal counsel from someone that also understands family law. This can help families prevent legal hiccups from becoming a source of tension.
Appointing the Executor
Once the will is authenticated, the judge will appoint an executor who will oversee the probate process and settle the estate. The executor will receive legal documents that allow them to act and enter into transactions on behalf of the estate. These documents may be referred to as "letters of testamentary," "letters or authority," or "letters of administration."
If a will is not left by the decedent, the court will appoint the next of kin as the administrator of the estate. This is typically a surviving spouse or adult child. This individual is not obligated to serve and can decline the appointment.
A lawyer from the law firm of Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, can act in the capacity of executor or administrator. Serving in your place, an attorney can attend all court dates so that you can focus on working through your recent loss.
Before accepting the letters, it may be necessary for the administrating lawyer to post bond on behalf of the executor. This acts as an insurance policy to protect the beneficiaries from financial damages the estate may suffer due to intentional or unintentional errors on behalf of the executor. An attorney from the law firm of Froerer & Miles in Ogden, UT, can ensure the process is followed by the letter of the law, allowing heirs and beneficiaries to rest assured the estate will be handled properly.
Once access has been granted to the necessary legal papers, our first task is locating and taking possession of all the decedent's assets. This protects the estate during the probate process. At this stage, a lawyer can be invaluable. Locating assets can involve a bit of detective work. Sometimes people have assets that no one is aware of and that were not present in their wills.
The hunt for assets typically involves a thorough review of insurance policies, tax returns, and other such documentation. Acting as executor or administrator, a lawyer will protect any real estate by ensuring mortgages and property taxes are paid, and insurance is kept current. This ensures property is not lost and does not go into foreclosure.
Other physical assets such as vehicles and collectibles may end up in the possession of the executor in order to keep them safe. Statements and documentation relating to bank accounts and investments such as stocks and bonds will also be collected and kept in a secure location during this time.
Appraisals and Determining Value
The value of the deceased person's assets on the date of death must be determined to provide an accurate account of the estate. This is usually accomplished through evaluating account statements and appraisals to determine monetary value. A comprehensive list of the deceased person's property and personal effects will then be submitted to the court. This report will state each asset's value as well as how the appraiser arrived at the respective value.
Determining and Informing Creditors
Creditors of the decedent must be identified and notified of their death. Publishing a notice of the death in a local newspaper can alert creditors so that any unknown debts can be identified by the administering lawyer. After receiving notice, creditors have a limited period of time to make a claim against an estate for any money owed.
A probate attorney from the law firm of Froerer & Miles can prove invaluable at this stage of the probate process, as an executor can reject claims if they are believed to be invalid. The creditor is then allowed to petition the court to have a probate judge decide the legitimacy of the claim.
Payment of Debts
Once all debts are accounted for, creditor claims are paid. Using estate funds, your probate lawyer will pay all the decedent's debts and final bills.
Preparation and Filing of Tax ReturnsYour lawyer will file the decedent's final personal income tax returns for the year in which they passed away. We will determine any estate tax liabilities and file the estate tax returns, if needed. Estate funds will be used to pay any due taxes. Liquidating assets from the estate may be a necessity to raise the capital needed to pay owed taxes.
Distribution of the Estate
Once all preceding steps are completed, your attorney can petition the court for permission to distribute the remaining assets to the benefactors named in the last will and testament. Your lawyer can provide a complete accounting of every financial transaction that has been engaged in during the probate process. Once permission has been granted by the courts, the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.
If minors are included in the bequests of the will, the law firm of Froerer & Miles can help set up a trust to accept possession of the assets. A trust is necessary since minors cannot own their own property.
"Took great care of our family."
I just wanted to thank Matthew Miles for helping us with probate on our father's will. The whole team was personable and responsive, getting the process finished quickly. Thanks!Read More Google Reviews
Great firm with high quality attorneys. I highly recommend Matt Miles for your estate planning. He took great care of our family.Read More Google Reviews
Our Lawyers Want to Hear from You Serving Northern Utah Since 1959
At Froerer & Miles in Ogden, our attorneys work hard to earn your trust and protect your interests. Your attorney will keep the probate process moving forward while you focus on spending time with loved ones. Our lawyers provide guidance and representation to families and individuals in Ogden and throughout northern Utah regarding the confusing and often overly complicated process of probate.
Our firm offers a wide range of services that can help families, including estate planning, and family law. We can help you set up a trust, living will, and guardianships, as well as plan for future probate and estate administration.
To schedule a consultation at our Ogden, UT, office serving Layton and surrounding communities, contact us online or call:
Our Lawyers Are Here to Help A Client Shares Her Experience
We had our family revocable trust finalized and completed!
What a relief! After many years of postponing, pondering, and
researching, we finally asked Froerer & Miles to help us.
It went very smoothly, and the legal terms were explained to us.
We were so relieved to have this taken care for our children.
Thank you so much for making this procedure so simple for us.
The cost is reasonable and is well worth the service.
I would recommend Froerer & Miles to anyone
who has concerns about talking to a law firm about
settling this important financial matter. Thanks so much! Danielle Shupe - 5 Star Review - 2021
How long does the probate process take?This can vary from case to case. When you meet with the lawyers of Froerer & Miles, we will help explain the timeline and provide realistic expectations.
What does "reasonable fees" mean when it comes to probate lawyers?Reasonable fees mean that our probate attorneys will charge a flat fee for services when possible. We will not charge a large percentage of the estate.
Do trusts go through probate proceedings?No. A trust does not go through probate court.
If a trust is in place, do I still need a probate attorney?
Yes. While trusts do not go through probate court, other assets do.
Meanwhile, people might think that since their parent had a trust, an attorney is not necessary. But there are a lot of rules that must follow Utah code that tell a trustee what they have to do. For instance, they must send a copy of the trust to all beneficiaries. Too often, the trustee in charge ends up getting in a bind. If it is a charity that is a beneficiary, there can be even more disagreement. Having a skilled lawyer familiar with wills, trusts, and probate cases is always important following the passing of a family member.